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HTML Elements


An HTML element is defined by a start tag, some content, and an end tag.


HTML Elements

An HTML element is defined by a start tag, some content, and an end tag:

<tagname>Content goes here...</tagname>

The HTML element is everything from the start tag to the end tag:

<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>
Start tag Element content End tag
<h1> My First Heading </h1>
<p> My first paragraph. </p>
<br> none none

Note: Some HTML elements have no content (like the <br> element). These elements are called empty elements. Empty elements do not have an end tag!


Nested HTML Elements

HTML elements can be nested (this means that elements can contain other elements).

All HTML documents consist of nested HTML elements.

The following example contains four HTML elements (<html>, <body>, <h1> and <p>):

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<body>

<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

</body>
</html>
Try it Yourself »

Example Explained

The <html> element is the root element and it defines the whole HTML document.

It has a start tag <html> and an end tag </html>.

Then, inside the <html> element there is a <body> element:

<body>

<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

</body>

The <body> element defines the document's body.

It has a start tag <body> and an end tag </body>.

Then, inside the <body> element there are two other elements: <h1> and <p>:

<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

The <h1> element defines a heading.

It has a start tag <h1> and an end tag </h1>:

<h1>My First Heading</h1>

The <p> element defines a paragraph.

It has a start tag <p> and an end tag </p>:

<p>My first paragraph.</p>


Never Skip the End Tag

Some HTML elements will display correctly, even if you forget the end tag:

Example

<html>
<body>

<p>This is a paragraph
<p>This is a paragraph

</body>
</html>
Try it Yourself »

However, never rely on this! Unexpected results and errors may occur if you forget the end tag!


Empty HTML Elements

HTML elements with no content are called empty elements.

The <br> tag defines a line break, and is an empty element without a closing tag:

Example

<p>This is a <br> paragraph with a line break.</p>
Try it Yourself »

HTML is Not Case Sensitive

HTML tags are not case sensitive: <P> means the same as <p>.

The HTML standard does not require lowercase tags, but W3C recommends lowercase in HTML, and demands lowercase for stricter document types like XHTML.

At W3Schools we always use lowercase tag names.


HTML Tag Reference

W3Schools' tag reference contains additional information about these tags and their attributes.

Tag Description
<html> Defines the root of an HTML document
<body> Defines the document's body
<h1> to <h6> Defines HTML headings

For a complete list of all available HTML tags, visit our HTML Tag Reference.